The fairy tale beautiful Lake Como, Italy

Lake Como was our final destination in Italy last summer before heading to Switzerland. The pictures speak for themselves to the beauty of this one-of-a-kind playground for the lucky people who get to call Lake Como home -or one of their homes...

A little about Lake Como, courtesy of Wikipedia...
"Lake Como has been a popular retreat for aristocrats and wealthy people since Roman times, and a very popular tourist attraction with many artistic and cultural gems. It has many villas and palaces (such as Villa Olmo, Villa Serbelloni and Villa Carlotta). Currently, many celebrities have or had homes on the shores of Lake Como, such as Matthew Bellamy, Madonna, George Clooney,[2] Gianni Versace, Ronaldinho, Sylvester Stallone, Richard Branson, and Ben Spies. Lake Como is widely regarded as being one of the most beautiful lakes in Italy."

click on any image for a larger view

just a humble lake house...

Pictures don't do the grand villas justice

A view of the mountain tops from the ferry we took to tour the lake.

...just the local swimming hole. I steered clear of the water because in 2007 the bacteria levels in the water were deemed too high for safe swimming.

Here's that list again of all my posts from our travels that I've posted -


•Introduction to my European backpacking trip and a list of places we visited
Galicia - Baiona and Isle de Cies
Galicia - the coast, some charming vineyards, and Pontevedra
Santiago de Compostela and gorgeous hidden beaches
Gorgeous mountain lakes of Picos de Europa
Stunning mountains - Picos de Europa
Bilbao and San Sebastian
Beautiful Barcelona
The amazing Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona
Art Nouveau dream house by Gaudi in Barcelona


Not to miss - the gorgeous rocky coast of Italy's Cinque Terre
More from my summer traveling Europe - amazing Rome
From my summer in Europe - amazing Pompeii
Turquoise ocean and vineyards on cliffs - the amazingly stunning Amalfi coast
My Summer in Europe: Pictures from lovely Florence, Italy
Enchanting Siena

Thanks as always to my boyfriend Chris, who took these amazing photos.

Simply lovely living rooms from Domino

Domino is gone, but not forgotten. It's living rooms like these that keep the magazine's spirit alive...

This living room is really unique - I like it.

And the lucky winner of "Downtown Chic" is...

Congratulations! Please contact me at ashley [at] decorologyblog [dot] com with your shipping address and I will get your lovely prize, "Downtown Chic" off to you in a jiffy. Thanks to all who entered. If you didn't win, you'll have another chance at a great book giveaway next week, so stay tuned!

Winner selected at random by Random Number Generator.

I simply count the number of entries and plug that number into the generator. Once it generates a number I count in order from the first to last comment, and the entry who matches with the number generated wins.

Have a beautiful weekend

left: © Joanna Kustra right: Scandinavian Chic

A little eye candy for all you organization junkies out there...

If it involves baskets or bins and labels I can't resist...

Matching labels and matching canisters....!
Vintage suitcases as memorabilia containers!

the above and below are AMAZING

An artist's studio with organizational furnishings down to a T!

Check out the baskets with all the fabric swatches archived...

Paint cans mounted as spool reels! Also check out the buttons and other notions in small magnetic tins on the mirror!

1. Snakk Klikk
2. Pinterest  (labels free for download at BHG)
3. House to Home
4. Real Simple
5. Real Simple
6. Life Work
7. Little Green Notebook
8. Pinterest

Glamorous and Green

Once I own a home I hope to make it as green as I possible can. Luckily, "greenifying" your home no longer means uglifying it, and technology is coming down in price everyday. I've noticed many progressive cities are getting more and more green restorations in historic homes, like this one in Toronto. Enjoy!

The owner didn't want to rip out the authentic stained glass windows, so she added extra glazing on the exterior to improve energy efficiency... so beautiful.

Furnishings are mostly vintage and/or antique and refurbished/reupholstered when necessary.

oh I do love that rug

Here are 5 green things the owners did to improve the space:

1. Complete Geothermal Retrofit
2. Replaced windows and doors for high efficiency versions
3. Added Insulation
4. Used Zero VOC paints
5. Furnished with antique and vintage furniture

Not too shabby huh?
via Pure Green Magazine

For the love of old houses...

I LOVE old houses - so much charm, history, character, and individuality.  A lot of maintenance too - but the pay off is worth it.  I grew up in an almost 200 year-old colonial on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland.  Hardwood floors with as many ups and downs as an old country lane, old glass windows that gave you "wavy" vision when you looked out of them...I have a special place in my heart for old houses.

Here are some great examples of how savvy homeowners have turned their oldies but goodies into even better...ies...from the master of old houses, This Old House..

The 3 images below are from the home of their Reader Remodel Contest, a 1920s Colonial Revival in Orlando, Florida.

 The kitchen was my favorite part of the renovation.  I love white cabinetry...and the space is so bright and airy..

The family worked hard to keep the soul of the house in tact...

LOVE the board and baten door...

They also featured lots of great 1 room makeovers.  Here were some of my fav's


contractor grade cabinets make me cringe...

Gorgeous - love the floors...

The kitchen below isn't too far from what my parents are dealing with now in their 70s rancher...

pretty amazing transition huh?  Check out the sconces above the stove hood...

This living room is possibly my favorite redo - I think the fireplace is simply fabulous.  Love the built-in's too.  Only thing I might rethink is the rug.

Do you like old houses?  Have you ever lived in one and undertaken a renovation?

If you want to read more about these makeovers go to This Old House or pick up the July 2011 issue...

*disclosure: I received a copy of This Old House July 2011 to review as a sample

Lovely apartments from my future city

As some of you might already know, in August I am moving to DC because my boyfriend will be attending GWU in the fall to get his masters. While I grew up in MD, I only ever went to DC for school field trips, so I don't really know much about the different neighborhoods. So yesterday before attending Manvi from Mochatini's fabulous tabletop decorating how-to party, which I'll be sharing pics from later, I drove around and explored some recommended neighborhoods. I checked out Columbia Heights, Shaw, Foggy Bottom, Dupont, Silver Spring (MD suburb), and Capitol Hill. It's ultimately going to come down to the $$/space ratio. Anyway, enough of that - here are some fab. DC apartments...

The vintage chic split level apartment is in Cleveland Park.

LoVe the widow seat

This charming loft is in the adorable Logan Circle in the The Louise Hand Laundry Loft

Love the rug

Great bed

via Apartment Therapy
Copyright © The Manly. All Rights Reserved.
Blogger Template designed by Big Homes.